"I'm going to be a man on a mission,'' Lee said Thursday afternoon after a training session at the IMG Academy. "I just hope they'll be happy for me when I grow into the player that they wish they had. I'd like them to one day say 'I wish we would have kept him.'''
Lee, who had a surprisingly-strong rookie season, was stunned to become a major part of the deal this summer that brought Carter to Orlando, while the Nets started to rebuild around younger players, hoping to put him in the starting backcourt alongside Devon Harris.
"I'd like to be Dwight Howard's teammate again -- in the All-Star game,'' Lee said. "They [Magic] have a history of trading good players [Ben Wallace, Tracy McGrady, Corey Maggette, Mike Miller] who did well afterward. I hope that's me. My goal will be to go out and dominate every game, but especially those games [when I play the Magic]. I'll be jacked up for sure.''
As a rookie in Orlando, Lee often was motivated by all the teams that passed up the chance to draft him before the Magic did with the 22nd pick in 2008, especially the teams that took players who didn't play as well as he did. He became a rarity as starter on a team that reached the NBA Finals last season. In his 42 regular season starts, he averaged 10.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1 steal in 29.7 minutes. He often was assigned to guard the opponent's leading scorer.
"The trade shocked me. After the Finals, Dwight and I were talking about things we had to do to get back and win a championship together. He joked about us being the next Shaq and Penny [Hardaway] with the Magic,'' he said. "I know it's a business, and trades happen, but it's not something you forget, even when you look forward like I am.''
Lee's mission has included a rigorous offseason of workouts. He has spent this week with a handful of young NBA players in a routine that includes three training sessions per day at IMG with renowned coach David Thorpe. He will leave for New Jersey this weekend to begin workouts with Nets teammates.
"I'll take what I learned in Orlando and put it to use in New Jersey. It's a great opportunity for me,'' he said. "It's more of an opportunity to be one of the go-to guys, to really showcase my full talents. New Jersey has a good young team, and I'm going to be a big part of it.''